20 Oct 2021


Education Status in South Sudan

 According to the latest World Bank Education status and challenges report on the Republic of South Sudan released in September 2012, access to Primary School Education and Alternative Education System (AES) has greatly improved from 2007.
The 175 page report entitled “Education in the Republic of South Sudan: Status and Challenges for a New System” from 2007 to 2009 shows that enrollment of pupils increased from 1,127963 to 1,380, 580.
From 2005 to 2009, about 700,000 more children enrolled in primary school.  A child in South Sudan now has a 60% chance of receiving some schooling, up from 40% a decade ago this is because the report shows that at least 60% of teenage children have enrolled for primary education.
This means about 40% of the same age bracket remains out of school as fewer pupils above the age of 19 years enroll for primary education.
The report according to World Bank shows that South Sudan is working hard to build an inclusive education system in the face of huge unmet needs. However, the bank says to catch up with the rest of Africa, South Sudan needs consistent and higher investment in education for more classrooms, more schools in rural areas, more trained teachers and more equitable and efficient allocation of resources for education across the country.
Despite the impressive improvement in children’s enrollment, the completion and retention remain poor. The report shows that the primary education completion rate is 26% for the first six years of primary education and only 8% complete the eight year-circle. After primary four (grade 4), the dropout rate is steep and persistent.  
Rural children, poorer children and girls are considerably more disadvantaged in terms of school enrollment and retention. Much as the gap between girls and boys has reduced, girls still repeat classes more than their male counterparts.  
Central Equatoria State has the highest rate of P8 attainment while Jonglei and Warrap have the lowest rates.
Education challenges/Teachers
Only 39% of the teachers are trained and are not necessarily deployed according to number of students at schools and school levels.
Three out of five teachers receive a salary from the government, with an average of 80 children to each salaried teacher. Government-funded teachers are distributed unevenly.  From 84% of all teachers in Eastern Equatoria to 32% in Jonglei as most of the teachers are volunteers.
Shortage of text books, papers and writing materials, incomplete syllabus coverage and a reduction in government’s expenditure per pupil are the other key challenges affecting the learning environment in South Sudan.
In 2007, Government of South Sudan spent SDG 113, in 2008 SDG 118 and SDG 83 in 2009 per pupil in real terms.
Alternative Education System
Alternative Education System makes the second largest part of education system in South Sudan as its enrollment more than doubled in 2009 from 2008 with a total of 217,239 people in attendance.
Attendance of Alternative Education System in South Sudan

Accelerated Learning Programme
Intensive English Course
Adult Literacy
Community Girl schools
Radio Instruction
Grand total
Grand Total

 The current structure of the education system in South Sudan is mixed.

The legacy of the 21 years of civil war left many either uneducated or with low literacy levels.

Those who fled to neighbouring countries largely received basic education in line with the education system and structure of the host countries.

Fewer were luckier to obtain higher levels of education by being part of the South Sudanese Diaspora in Europe, America and beyond.

However, humanitarian agencies as well as NGOs kept some schools operational in SPLA/M controlled areas.Since the signing of the CPA in 2005, there has been initiatives to rapidly raise the literacy levels in South Sudan; more so among the girl child.

Among the initiatives is Go To School Initiative that was successfully launched in Juba on 1 April 2006. The First Vice President of the Republic of Sudan and President of Southern Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit declared 1 April be known as ‘Education Day’ in South Sudan, while the First Lady committed herself to become a champion for girls’ education within the Go To School Initiative.

The methods of instruction within South Sudan include Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) that imparts teacher training in addition to the radio lessons. The IRI lessons are dynamic, employing a combination of games, songs, and stories to introduce quality educational content and sound educational practice.

Education System

The levels of education essentially available within South Sudan are:

Basic Education

This offers students the basic literacy levels of reading and writing with primary use of English as the language of instruction over Arabic.
There are several organizations involved in this. They include USAID, UNICEF, CARE through Sudan Basic Education Program (SBEP)

Primary Education

Accelerated Learning Programs

Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) combines two primary grades into one year. ALP was specifically developed to meet the needs of internally displaced persons returning to their homes, demobilized soldiers, and girls, and will thereby play an indispensable role in helping “catch up” youngsters in South Sudan.

Adult Education

This offers an opportunity to mature students / adults who missed out on formal education due to the civil war. 

Last updated at 5/17/2021